Transforming Your Habits to Transform Your Health Part 13
We talk about living in the present in our book, Authentic Health, and we talk about it in our video series. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s incredibly important. There’s a reason why it’s talked about so much.
Forget about the Past and the Future
Most of us have trouble being in the moment. We tend not to be aware of the present moment because we’re lost in the past or the future. For some individuals, this can be potentially positive, meaning they’re constantly thinking about all the beautiful things they’ve experienced or considering their beautiful future.
However, most people are ruminating on the past in a way that’s not positive and most of us are thinking about the future from a perspective of fear. Society impresses this upon us through all the news cycles and social media pop-ups. It keeps us in a state of constant alarm, which is terrible for our health. We talk about this in our stress and fear series, and we teach ways to reduce stress responses.
It’s important to recognize that life happens in the present moment, and you’re designed to be present in this moment. It’s the only way to fully optimize awareness and focus, and the power to make choices. Because if you’re not aware in the present moment, then you’re non-conscious. If you’re non-conscious, then you’re not going to make any choices according to your highest desire. You’re going to do whatever you’ve done before through habit.
Conscious and Present Mindfulness
We’re about making conscious choices to become our healthiest self, which absolutely demands awareness in the present moment. We have to leave the past behind and stop carrying it around with us as though it was a backpack full of rocks weighing us down. We have to let go of our fears of the future.
This is often referred to as mindfulness. Mindfulness is very powerful, and there are a lot of different ways to practice mindfulness. Meditation happens to be a very effective one. You want to, frequently throughout the day, reorient yourself to the present moment. Perhaps you set an alarm that every hour reminds you to orient yourself to the present moment. You can get to a point where you virtually live all your time completely aware and alive in the present moment, and that is a joyous state of being.
You have to put the past behind you and let it go. Focus on this moment and what’s right before you. A simple thing to do is to stop and examine your own thoughts and feelings. What are you thinking about? What are you feeling? Is it from the past? Is it rooted in the future? Bring yourself back to the present moment, take a few deep breaths, look around, find something pleasant, and remind yourself that you’re fine and that you’re alive right now. Keep orienting yourself to the present moment. Do not give it away. Because THIS is where life is lived.
Put away the smartphones and computers when you can. Turn off the television, and be alive in the present moment. Take in your surroundings. Contemplate beauty. Enjoy the feeling of breathing, stretching, and experiencing your own body. Practice this regularly. You must be in the present to make your own choices. As you know from our teachings thus far in the series, being able to make your own choices according to your desires is a crucial skill in becoming your healthiest self.
Present moment living is imperative. You have to learn how to do this. It’s not hard, but it must be done. For more information about this, see our additional resources at https://healthshepherds.com or our video series.